On a lark, I took advantage of a nice weather day and got a late start for a lazy century ride. Nothing fancy, just the idea of spending the day enjoying the peace and quiet of car-free trails and a few miles of required back-roads to stitch them together into a loop. I figured this would take a bit longer than a “regular” (paved road) century, so with a late start, I advised Karen not to wait for me for dinner. As it turns out, I wasn’t that much slower anyway, but I DID get back late.
Today’s Unusual Adventure
On the road at 8:30am, I took the shortest route to East Rochester and hopped the trail connecting Legion Ayer Park to Fairport, over Irondequoit Creek and along the train tracks behind the BOCES facility.
Connecting to the Erie Canalway Trail at Perinton Park, I slid through downtown Fairport, past TK’s Pizza and the site of my old apartment on “State Street” (now renamed “Lift Bridge Lane”) and outta town on the trail toward Macedon. When I compare the mental images of the area from now to back when I lived there (’78-’81), one might not recognize the area at all. Thanks to TK’s, I have a reliable landmark. I still need to order one some evening … just to compare.
Out on the trail, alive with bikers and runners and dog walkers, I meet a couple turtles. I’m no expert on turtles, but I don’t think the first one I met was a snapper. It was digging a hole on the side of the trail, I suspect for eggs. (I do NOT believe turtles bother with their waste products like cats do.) I didn’t bother HER as she seemed intent on a project.
Not 100 yards from there, I meet a second turtle. Smaller, but with a very different shell. I thought maybe this was a snapper, and was pretty convinced when I went to pick it up off the trail. Hard to believe a turtle can snap so fast. I decided to move along while I still have all my digits.
Not So Slow Mover
On down the trail past Macedon, I detoured out onto Route 31 due to construction work near Pal-Mac Park. I noticed a brilliant little bike-infrastructure detail I’m thrilled to see. Where the trail has to share the road shoulder, the DOT marked out the separation by painting a barrier right on the (correctly placed) rumble strips. Very cool!
Back on the trail at Palmyra, it’s a smooth roll toward Newark where I jump off the trail at Whitbeck road and head south to Phelps. Stop #1 (38 miles in) was at the Speedway c-store just west of town on Route 96, and just down the road from the trailhead for Ontario Pathways. I grabbed a chocolate milk there, took it to the trailhead, and enjoyed it with a chocolate crunch bar. Sitting in the shade on a beautiful day, I almost took a nap, but knew that could be a problem if I wanted to get home before dark, so after dropping tire pressures for the trail, I slowly meander down the trail.
Into the Wilderness
It’s an interesting trail. All trails are interesting if you go slow enough and take the time to look around.
It's a Flower, right?
Cottonwood Massacre Crime Scene
What’s a Pooh Trap? What’s a Heffalump?
After about 20 miles, I get dumped out onto the streets on Canandaigua. It’s mid-afternoon, I’ve wisely had a caffeine-free day, and with great discipline, I do NOT stop for coffee at Dalai Java, but blast thru town to Byrne Dairy where I pick up my 2nd chocolate milk of the day and down another granola bar. OK … chocolate has SOME caffeine, but compared to my usual Red-Eye, it’s kindergarten stuff.
Tires pumped back up for the road, I’ve got about ten miles of pavement before I hop onto the Auburn Trail outside Victor, and from there about 15 miles to Pittsford and back on the Erie Canal to the city. In the city, I’m still short about 10 miles of a century, so I rode up the Genesee River Trail to downtown, then “Bled Air” to finish. No, I didn’t soften my tires. That’s a term I learned from skydiving. That’s the technique of making a series of turns on approach to landing to lose altitude quickly so you don’t overshoot your landing. I “bleed air” by wiggling around streets to add up the miles before home. So when you see my track files that show apparent indecision about where I’m going, the only decision I’ve made is to KEEP going.
Today, I felt great even after a loooong day in the saddle (OK ... nothing new here) so after a morning appointment, I shot back out the canal trail to intercept my friend Andy who was on his way back IN to town after a morning ride.
Picked up another 37 miles today.
Looked at my mileage log.
I have a task to perform.